Hot Best Seller

The Black Song

Availability: Ready to download

The Black Song is the action-packed conclusion to the Raven's Blade series by Anthony Ryan, which began with The Wolf's Call. The Steel Horde has laid waste to the Venerable Kingdom, unleashing a storm of fire and blood. Now the leader of this mighty host - Kehlbrand, the warlord who thinks himself a god - turns his eyes to the other merchant kingdoms. No one can stop his d The Black Song is the action-packed conclusion to the Raven's Blade series by Anthony Ryan, which began with The Wolf's Call. The Steel Horde has laid waste to the Venerable Kingdom, unleashing a storm of fire and blood. Now the leader of this mighty host - Kehlbrand, the warlord who thinks himself a god - turns his eyes to the other merchant kingdoms. No one can stop his divine conquest. No one, perhaps, except Vaelin Al Sorna. Yet Vaelin is on the run, his own army in disarray. Worse, the new blood song he has acquired is as much a curse as a blessing, and seeks to guide him down a path far darker than he could have imagined...


Compare

The Black Song is the action-packed conclusion to the Raven's Blade series by Anthony Ryan, which began with The Wolf's Call. The Steel Horde has laid waste to the Venerable Kingdom, unleashing a storm of fire and blood. Now the leader of this mighty host - Kehlbrand, the warlord who thinks himself a god - turns his eyes to the other merchant kingdoms. No one can stop his d The Black Song is the action-packed conclusion to the Raven's Blade series by Anthony Ryan, which began with The Wolf's Call. The Steel Horde has laid waste to the Venerable Kingdom, unleashing a storm of fire and blood. Now the leader of this mighty host - Kehlbrand, the warlord who thinks himself a god - turns his eyes to the other merchant kingdoms. No one can stop his divine conquest. No one, perhaps, except Vaelin Al Sorna. Yet Vaelin is on the run, his own army in disarray. Worse, the new blood song he has acquired is as much a curse as a blessing, and seeks to guide him down a path far darker than he could have imagined...

30 review for The Black Song

  1. 4 out of 5

    Petrik

    Anthony Ryan has delivered a satisfying action-packed conclusion to Raven’s Blade while leaving room for one or two more books in the world. “He lies. They all do, these servants of things unseen. Long ago I learned that prophecy is always built on shifting sands and destiny an illusion used to banish fear of the chaos that is life. I trust what I know. I’ve seen what waits on the other side of death so I know it’s always better to cling to life.” The Black Song is the second book in Anthony Ryan has delivered a satisfying action-packed conclusion to Raven’s Blade while leaving room for one or two more books in the world. “He lies. They all do, these servants of things unseen. Long ago I learned that prophecy is always built on shifting sands and destiny an illusion used to banish fear of the chaos that is life. I trust what I know. I’ve seen what waits on the other side of death so I know it’s always better to cling to life.” The Black Song is the second book in Anthony Ryan’s Raven’s Blade duology. The main story—after the long prologue—picks up immediately from The Wolf’s Call cliffhanger ending. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Ryan has received quite a mixed reception for Queen of Fire, the conclusion to Raven’s Shadow trilogy, and honestly speaking, Queen of Fire didn’t work for me, too. So you might be wondering whether this duology is worth the read. With the cautiousness I attained from reading Queen of Fire in mind, I do believe that The Black Song is Ryan’s best-concluding installment—out of all of his series—so far; I loved it more than Queen of Fire and Empire of Ashes. To answer your questions, yes, if you’re a fan of Blood Song, you should read this duology. “’Time,’ he told me, ‘is both precious and worthless. It is eternal and fleeting. Like clay, you may make of it what you will, if your hands possess the skill to do so.’” The story structure in The Black Song is divided into four parts. In the first book, each part starts with Luralyn’s Account; in The Black Song, contrary to my expectation, Luralyn didn’t reprise her role again. Instead, we have Obvar’s Account, and this is genuinely a nice surprise for me. I didn’t think I would find Obvar’s Account so compelling, but I really did. Obvar’s Account sections also allowed readers to look into Kehlbrand’s and the Stahlhast’s point-of-view much closer than Luralyn could’ve, and I think all four of Obvar’s Account highlighted some of Ryan’s best writing in his career so far. The main story is still told solely through Vaelin’s perspective, and I’m so grateful for this. I personally think that every story in this world that Ryan crafted is so much better when it’s told exclusively through one main character’s POV. Ryan didn’t spend as much time on building Vaelin’s characterizations here; technically, this is the fifth book with Vaelin in it, and most of his characterizations were implemented already in Blood Song. Because of this, Vaelin can come across as stoic and emotionless at times, except when he’s dealing with the conflicts from gaining his new power, but I think for those who’ve read Vaelin’s journey since the beginning, they’ll find that he’s just more delicate in showing emotions. After everything that has happened to him, it’s not a surprise that he’s not willing to display any sign of perceivable weakness unless it’s to his old companions that he trusts the most. “In war, only the final victory should be celebrated. All others are just bloody footprints on a road best untraveled.” There’s one element you should know about the content of The Black Song, war and action scenes dominated this book. I’m thankful to a few early reviewers of this novel who have mentioned this because excluding Part One that’s more centered towards world-building, history, and philosophies, the rest of the book leans very heavily towards non-stop battle and war sequences. Violence, blood, deaths, barbarians, pirates, and military tactics filled most of the pages in The Black Song, and it can get exhausting if you’re not in the right mindset for this kind of story. I was prepared, and I found Ryan’s war scenes here to have improved a lot from his previous books. Ryan has done a great job building the legend of Kehlbrand the Darkblade and his conquest. Although I did find the final confrontation to be slightly anticlimactic because it ended too quickly to my liking, this was more of a minor issue on the grander scheme of the narrative. It was so darkly fulfilling seeing the rampage of the black-song as it craves for death. “He is not just engaged in conquest, he is writing scripture. He chose me as the villain, his own sister he cast as the great betrayer, all to build the epic of the Darkblade. He knows simple conquest is not enough, not if he is to truly reign as a god. To defeat him, we need to craft our own tale, the tale of the reborn emperor, hailed and blessed as such by the Servants of the Temple of Spears.” With The Black Song, Ryan has splendidly concluded Vaelin’s new adventure satisfyingly. Raven’s Blade has come to an end, but don’t think of this as the true final volume for stories set in this world. Assessing based on Raven’s Blade conclusion, I’m sure there will be one or two more books to come eventually. I honestly don’t see how this will go beyond one more book, but I’ll refrain from a final judgment, and find out what Ryan has in store for the future. This was a great series, and in my opinion, Blood Song finally got the sequels it deserved. “I’ve grown comfortable behind these walls. Here, apart from my occasional visits to the second tier, I am left in peace to paint as I wish amongst people who respect my privacy. The world outside was never so kind to me. I have no great desire to see it again.” Series review: The Wolf’s Call: 4/5 stars The Black Song: 4/5 stars Raven’s Blade: 8/10 stars You can order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping) You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing! My Patrons: Alfred, Alya, Annabeth, Devin, Hamad, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Zoe.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    Out Today!!! 4Aug20 This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. The Black Song is the conclusion to the Raven’s Blade duology and is set 5 years after the events in it’s parent trilogy Raven’s Shadow.  While you could read this without reading the other trilogy I wouldn’t.  Even though the Queens Fire (Raven’s Shadow #3) was a disappointing ending for me I think so m Out Today!!! 4Aug20 This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. The Black Song is the conclusion to the Raven’s Blade duology and is set 5 years after the events in it’s parent trilogy Raven’s Shadow.  While you could read this without reading the other trilogy I wouldn’t.  Even though the Queens Fire (Raven’s Shadow #3) was a disappointing ending for me I think so many things are more in The Black Song because of it. Returning to the single PoV, except for the interludes Ryan has found his storytelling magic again and Vaelin Al Sorna carries another book to its epic conclusion. The reader enters the story right after the events of The Wolf’s Call with a newly changed Al Sorna as his now has a Song again.  It isn’t the same as the one before and offers all kinds of new challenges for the hero. Vaelin has found the woman he first loved, Sherrin and is fighting a war against another man who carries the name The Darkblade.  To keep her safe, and his home country from having the same threat knock on their doors later, he has travelled to a land that reminds me of the East with ancient traditions, different gods and a slew of obstacles to overcome.  He must find a way to harness his song to defeat this treat or the new Darkblade will devour the world. "Weapons are like thoughts," the tall man replied.  "Best kept hidden until needed." I will say I’m much happier with the conclusion to this duology than I was the Raven’s Shadow.  Ryan has grown as an author and has learned how to tell the story he wants to tell.  I was extremely invested in Vaelin and the people he brought with him from the Tower.  The buildup to the final showdown was really well done with plenty of skirmishes along the way. "Not every cause I chose was hopeless. We won the Liberation War, if you recall" "I do.  I've also had a great deal of time to ponder the rewards of victory. I find them small indeed." If you are in this series for the romance don’t be.  Ryan has a few moments that are heartfelt between our hero and the women who stole his heart so long ago.  I do like where the story ended for them and the possibilities that it opened up.  But I think the relationship between them is about tenth or twelfth on Ryan’s priority list.  So, while it does factor into the story and who Vaelin is today it isn’t a kissing book. Overall, I like the direction of the characters in this world.  Nortah has regained some of what was lost to him.  Ellese, the Darkblade’s sister played her role well and was believable at it.  Sherrin, showed us in the end what she is made of and I look forward to seeing where this new road might take her.  I missed Reva but did love her daughter so much.  There are some fantastic strong characters who stand with Vaelin until the bitter end.  Solid wrap up to so many of the questions I had about the characters I loved from Bloodsong.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Ryan does it again with quenching our thirst for more Vaelin. Vaelin is confronted with more inner struggle, as he sets out on his quest to end the Darkblade, sending him on a memorable journey. There's plenty of blade action, battles, confrontations, and even some humor. Having listened to this one on audible, Steven Brand did a great job as usual bringing the characters to life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. Upon encountering a devastating loss, how far would you go to exact revenge upon those who have made you suffer? If given the shot or the opportunity to tip the scales in your favour at the cost of your sanity, of resembling the very evil that you endeavoured to take down, would you capture it or would you let it slip? Sometimes the answer to these questions lies not in what we believe but what the journey towards retribution has to offer. Compl You can find my review on my blog by clicking here. Upon encountering a devastating loss, how far would you go to exact revenge upon those who have made you suffer? If given the shot or the opportunity to tip the scales in your favour at the cost of your sanity, of resembling the very evil that you endeavoured to take down, would you capture it or would you let it slip? Sometimes the answer to these questions lies not in what we believe but what the journey towards retribution has to offer. Completing his Raven’s Blade duology is writer Anthony Ryan (Raven’s Shadow trilogy, The Draconis Memoria trilogy) who presents fans with an action-packed sequel to the Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches’ legacy as a living legend, an unmatched warrior, and a fearless adversary to combatants and gods. What is The Black Song about? Continuing the tale where it was left off in The Wolf’s Call, the Unified Realm remains under the threat of the Darkblade as he wages war and pursues his dominion over the realms of the Merchant Kings. With this self-proclaimed god relentlessly conquering lands and seizing opportunities to recruit vicious warriors to his fanatical army, Vaelin Al Sorna suffers a devastating loss that forces his hands to retreat alongside an ally but also with an unexpected surprise, one that can be summarized as a re-acquaintance with lost dark magic that sings within him and requires far more than he dares give. Driven with a conviction to put an end to the Darkblade’s horde, it is now time to rebuild his own forces and march towards the madness before it engulfs the rest of the world. “Vengeance might win a war, but fear alone won’t.” — Anthony Ryan Split into four parts, with each one kicking off with Obvar Nagerik (Kehlbrand’s champion)’s point of view that offers insight in the Darkblade’s horde’s progression, unlike the previous story that gave this additional angle to the adventure through the eyes of Luralyn Reyerik (Kehlbrand’s sister), the story continues to mainly focus on Vaelin Al Sorna’s rise from the aftermath witnessed in The Wolf’s Call. This time around, he seeks allies in unlikely places while gaining the trust and respect of various leaders along the way. From completing challenges to coming out victorious from duels, he mostly relies on his experience, cold-blooded confidence, and his honour to make the most out of his retreat as he helps Heaven’s Chosen see to the rebirth of a brand-new army that would dare interfere with the Darkblade’s plans to conquer lands. While character development is put to the side, writer Anthony Ryan focuses on world-building and neverending action sequences to wrap up his duology. Although Vaelin Al Sorna does share some of the internal conflicts he has to face as he tries to suppress the dark powers that have surged within him, most of the narrative revolves around exploring different lands, nations, and politics as he sees the army he’s in grow and become the very threat that the Darkblade wishes to obliterate before it’s too late. What ultimately makes this journey so satisfying despite suffering in terms of characterization is the author’s writing style that continues to showcase incredible precision and elegance, allowing readers to fully visualize the world in which evolves the narrative. With this finale focused on action, it was inevitable to especially see those moments brilliantly developed as the series comes to an end, albeit a bit abruptly, but with the proper and satisfying coherence found throughout this duology. The Black Song is an action-packed finale to this duology focused on honour, glory, and warfare as a false god is confronted once and for all. Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review! Yours truly, Lashaan | Blogger and Book Reviewer Official blog: https://bookidote.com/

  5. 4 out of 5

    THE BIBLIOPHILE (Rituranjan)

    An action-packed adventure that thrills with grim and hopeful moments, magicking the allure of epic stories tinged with blood, and at the same time opens the mystery, allure, and darkness that belies in the world of men and gods. This is a fitting conclusion to the duology, but, the end was not the closing end, for Ryan has left much to explore the rich world of the epic books he has crafted. I definitely want more of the Wolf and the Tiger. The story is bloody, and I mean it literally. The pacin An action-packed adventure that thrills with grim and hopeful moments, magicking the allure of epic stories tinged with blood, and at the same time opens the mystery, allure, and darkness that belies in the world of men and gods. This is a fitting conclusion to the duology, but, the end was not the closing end, for Ryan has left much to explore the rich world of the epic books he has crafted. I definitely want more of the Wolf and the Tiger. The story is bloody, and I mean it literally. The pacing is furious, as events unfold like a tempest raging across an unknown land. I loved the Asiatic influence in the story. The Merchant Kingdoms and Free Cantons were adequately portrayed. Most of the book is focused around Vaelin, and his race against the war his nemesis has spread over the world spreading ruin and death. As such, the story in places gave me a feel of Malazan. The magic and the stones are not yet explained properly, but this motif was central to the entire story. I enjoyed Vaelin's characterisation here. His conflict and emotional turmoil regarding his dark gift, and his relationship with others is well-written. This was a welcome change from the disastrous affair of 'Queen of fire", speaking of which, I wanted at least a brief appearance of Queen Lyrna. And, if Ryan decides to write another trilogy, I believe, there will be an interesting dynamic to Vaelin and Sherin's relationship. The antagonist, well, he is one hell of a cold-hearted callous bastard, and his end was pitiable. I would also like to know more about Mi Hahn, and hope that Ryan givez her a more prominent role if he writes another series in this world. The writing was lucid, and the dialogue natural with good character interactions, while the action was vicious. One flaw which I noticed was the sudden shifts in the narrative in between paragraphs without a break, which irked me a little, because it jarred my concentration from the story, and have to focus which character was taking the center of attention due to the abrupt change of perspective. Rest said, there wasn't a dull moment, rather it's an adrenaline fueled tale that gives one hell of a wild & entertaining ride.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Calvin Giroulx

    Vaelin Freaking Al Sorna! The Black Song is the fantastic ending to the Raven’s Blade that far exceeded my very high expectations. Picking up immediately after the fall of Keshin-Kho, Vaelin is on the run but has recovered a lost gift of the Dark. What follows is a lean, breakneck-paced book filled with outstanding world-building, sharp dialogue, and fully developed characters (thankfully not nearly as many as the overwhelmingly large cast of Queen Of Fire). As readers know, Anthony Ryan can wri Vaelin Freaking Al Sorna! The Black Song is the fantastic ending to the Raven’s Blade that far exceeded my very high expectations. Picking up immediately after the fall of Keshin-Kho, Vaelin is on the run but has recovered a lost gift of the Dark. What follows is a lean, breakneck-paced book filled with outstanding world-building, sharp dialogue, and fully developed characters (thankfully not nearly as many as the overwhelmingly large cast of Queen Of Fire). As readers know, Anthony Ryan can write an epic battle up there with the best of them and here The Black Song does not disappoint. But it was the quieter and more tender moments Vaelin shared with Ellese, Mi-Hahn, and Sherin that carried great levels of emotional weight. Sherin was greatly missed in Tower Lord and Queen Of Fire but here she is given plenty of opportunities to shine. Seeing our characters chased across an island by various twisted animals and beasts was reminiscent of Many Are The Dead, and a pair of favorite characters from the Raven’s Shadow trilogy also make surprising and welcome returns. This is his best writing since Blood Song and Tower Lord. A wonderful ending that left me in awe and made me immediately want to start re-reading The Wolf’s Call (and the Raven’s Shadow trilogy). Loose ends are tied up, but the door is left open for further adventures of both main and secondary characters, similar to what Joe Abercrombie is currently doing with the Age Of Madness trilogy. I hope Mr. Ryan returns to this world and that the wait isn’t too long. It has been a tremendous honor and pleasure to have been given an ARC copy to allow me to find out the ending while the rest of the world is forced to wait another month. Bravo, sir!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Flying Monkey

    4 Stars! The Black Song, the finale to the Raven's Blade Duology, provides a satisfying conclusion to the series. I really enjoyed Obvar's accounts and the insights into the Dark Blade. Vaelin's character was solid as usual and I enjoyed his POV.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Richter

    Book Two in the Raven's series. Carrying on with the story of Vaelin Al Sorna, who we first met in Blood Song. Most of this book has Vaelin running south away from the advance of the armies of Kehlbrand AKA the Darkblade. As Vaelin high tails it south he sounds the warning and gather allies. Most of the book is devoted to this effort. The plot and pace are both excellent and Ryan has created a mass of secondary characters to enjoy in their interaction with Vaelin. Excellent way to end this rare Book Two in the Raven's series. Carrying on with the story of Vaelin Al Sorna, who we first met in Blood Song. Most of this book has Vaelin running south away from the advance of the armies of Kehlbrand AKA the Darkblade. As Vaelin high tails it south he sounds the warning and gather allies. Most of the book is devoted to this effort. The plot and pace are both excellent and Ryan has created a mass of secondary characters to enjoy in their interaction with Vaelin. Excellent way to end this rare two book series. The book ends leaving you wanting a third book, but you know Anthony Ryan will return to Vaelin to continue the story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jon Adams

    Fuckin A. This was amazing.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sotiris Karaiskos

    After a first part which was more of an introduction to the story, with the introduction of the main characters, the description of the political context and various other complicated things follows a second one where things are clearer as what concerns us is mainly the war confrontations. The action is continuous, the pace is fast as the author takes us from battle to battle and this, combined with the general atmosphere reminiscent of Chinese history, gives me a feeling that I dare say reflect After a first part which was more of an introduction to the story, with the introduction of the main characters, the description of the political context and various other complicated things follows a second one where things are clearer as what concerns us is mainly the war confrontations. The action is continuous, the pace is fast as the author takes us from battle to battle and this, combined with the general atmosphere reminiscent of Chinese history, gives me a feeling that I dare say reflects the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the great historical masterpiece of Chinese literature. Of course, this raises the objection that the book is based too much on action, at the expense of anything else despite the fact that the plot creates several opportunities. So I think this is definitely an exciting book but its limited character prevents me from appreciating it more. Μετά από ένα πρώτο μέρος που ήταν περισσότερο μία εισαγωγή στην ιστορία, με την εισαγωγή των βασικών χαρακτήρων, την περιγραφή του πολιτικού πλαισίου και διάφορα άλλα περίπλοκα πράγματα ακολουθεί ένα δεύτερο όπου τα πράγματα είναι περισσότερο ξεκάθαρα καθώς αυτό που μας απασχολεί είναι κυρίως οι πολεμικές αναμετρήσεις. Η δράση είναι συνεχής, ο ρυθμός γρήγορος καθώς ο συγγραφέας μας πηγαίνει από μάχη σε μάχη και αυτό, σε συνδυασμό με το γενικότερο κλίμα που θυμίζει την κινεζική ιστορία, μου δημιουργεί μία αίσθηση που τολμώ να πω ότι απηχεί την Ιστορία των Τριών Βασιλείων, το μεγάλο ιστορικό αριστούργημα της κινεζικής λογοτεχνίας. Βέβαια αυτό μου δημιουργεί την ένσταση ότι το βιβλίο βασίζεται υπερβολικά στην δράση, σε βάρος οτιδήποτε άλλου παρά το γεγονός ότι η πλοκή δημιουργεί αρκετές ευκαιρίες. Οπότε νομίζω ότι πρόκειται σίγουρα για ένα συναρπαστικό βιβλίο αλλά ο περιορισμένος χαρακτήρας του με εμποδίζει από το να εκτιμήσω περισσότερο.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lila

    3,5* "The blood-song can be dark, Beral Shak Ur, but it can also shine very brightly indeed.” I had no idea this quote from Blood Song would fit so well. I remembered it just when the name of second book in this duology was announced and it proved to be strangely prophetic. Vaelin's Blood Song was such a huge part of his legend and overall journey in the first book, I felt its loss in rest of the series. It was that magical part of mythical persona author was building around him and as much as 3,5* "The blood-song can be dark, Beral Shak Ur, but it can also shine very brightly indeed.” I had no idea this quote from Blood Song would fit so well. I remembered it just when the name of second book in this duology was announced and it proved to be strangely prophetic. Vaelin's Blood Song was such a huge part of his legend and overall journey in the first book, I felt its loss in rest of the series. It was that magical part of mythical persona author was building around him and as much as I understand why he stripped it away from him, I did miss knowing more about how and why of such gifts. Hence, The Black Song opens up right where we left off, with Vaelin accepting the gift of song from Ahm Lin and running away from Stalhast and Kehlbrand's army of mindless worshippers. But the song is different and darker and tinged with bloodlust, so in a sense it's both a gift and a curse for Vaelin. He is used to blood song being his companion, a helping hand, and edge when you need it the most and his new song is something he has to constantly fight. It makes for an interesting dynamic and somewhat unexpected development of Valein's character and how he approached this fight with Kehlbrand. This being a different kind of fight, as opposed to first book where he went directly to enemy and defended the city, Vaelin knows what's he dealing with, and with his new song, he also knows what he needs to do. I understand why Ryan chose to do so, but I wished we saw some battles that happened off the page (mostly the attack on Merchant King's palace). Kehlbrand's followers are mindless bunch and they overcome and it makes for a bit boring fight, so I get it. I'd say Vaelin is at most competent here, both strategically and physically, almost like a one-man solution to every problem. Throughout the entire series, it's like he's almost reluctantly this mythical figure, but this novel actually shows why he inspire such descriptions and tales. His change to someone a bit more cunning, especially when it comes to his utter "don't give a fuck" when it comes to queen is a refreshing change. When it come to other characters, I have to mention only one: Obvar. Just like in previous novel he did with Luralyn, each part of the story is intersected with Obvar's account and it was something I always looked forward to. Obvar's narration is engaging and smart since he is a good observer and quite sincere about himself and his role and it made a perfect addition to the story. I liked Luralyn's account as well, but Obvar was better. Other characters? They fade, they are there to build Vaelin and for some reason it didn't bother me as much here. Plus, I kind of enjoyed the refreshing take on head warrior monk who was not wise and serene, but rather foul-mouthed and didn't suffer a fool. I was a bit ambivalent when it comes to ending, but only because it was kind of magical and surreal experience for characters. (view spoiler)[The Wolf was a rare, but a constant appearance for Vaelin and it always had some kind of symbolic meaning. So this everlasting fight the Tiger challenge that symbolism when you think back. But I have to admit, fate was never my favourite answer to why something happens in a fantasy novel. (hide spoiler)] Overall, this is a well thought duology from Ryan. His writing really works for me, since It's always easy for me to getting into his books and gobble them. I hope to see him write more about Vaelin, because he left some space there, but I have to say it's not such a bad place for ending if he chose to.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stefan

    It's a bit anticlimactic, compared to Ryan's past trilogy it's missing some omph and build up. Character development is low, not much happens in a way, when a side character died it fell flat and our main bad guy is not very good. During the final climax I was kinda surprised when it was over. I missed a lot the fake outs and one ups from the last novels where every action is met with counter action, plans in within plans, etc. Here we have a Magic macguffin that saves the day. I really don't kn It's a bit anticlimactic, compared to Ryan's past trilogy it's missing some omph and build up. Character development is low, not much happens in a way, when a side character died it fell flat and our main bad guy is not very good. During the final climax I was kinda surprised when it was over. I missed a lot the fake outs and one ups from the last novels where every action is met with counter action, plans in within plans, etc. Here we have a Magic macguffin that saves the day. I really don't know if can recommend this "duology". I am not even sure if there is a third novel or if I want one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pyramids Ubiquitous

    It's hard to imagine that Anthony Ryan wasn't in some way pressured into writing this duology by fan reactions to the original Raven's Shadow trilogy. The Raven's Blade novels see Ryan reviving the Vaelin that readers grew to love in Blood Song, and whose relevance was increasingly diminished throughout the original trilogy. These books are all Vaelin, all the time; this is both its strength and its weakness. The biggest flaw in Queen of Fire, in my opinion, was that things became needlessly comp It's hard to imagine that Anthony Ryan wasn't in some way pressured into writing this duology by fan reactions to the original Raven's Shadow trilogy. The Raven's Blade novels see Ryan reviving the Vaelin that readers grew to love in Blood Song, and whose relevance was increasingly diminished throughout the original trilogy. These books are all Vaelin, all the time; this is both its strength and its weakness. The biggest flaw in Queen of Fire, in my opinion, was that things became needlessly complicated with a huge, near-impossible to follow cast of characters. The Raven's Blade books simplify this because we really only see things through Vaelin's perspective. Unfortunately, that also makes everything feel more shallow this time around. Most especially, the foe never evolves beyond being exclusively evil, almost to the point of being cartoonish. The book is severely lacking in depth, but if you simply want to see Vaelin being a badass again you will be pleased. Regarding the prose, nothing has changed for Ryan. He continues to produce well-written, mostly soulless prose focused on stating the facts (think historical texts) with nothing sexy added. The dialogue ranges from spouting military strategy to giving inspiring speeches, and very rarely leaves that comfort zone. It's dry. Very, very dry. But if you've read Ryan before and are still interested, that isn't a detractor for you. Still, The Black Song has the author at his most compulsively readable since his first two books. The Raven's Blade novels are good books within the Rival Fantasy genre, just check your expectations if you're craving a spiritual re-writing of his Raven's Shadow ending. This is a side quest, nothing more. My ratings for the books in this series: Blood Song // 9 Tower Lord // 7 Queen of Fire // 4 The Wolf's Call // 6 The Black Song // 6

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Sadly this book was more like the third book of AR's first series rather than the first. Quite frankly I was bored, it was a slog to get through at times, which took much of the enjoyment away. Apart from Obvar's account which was superb, the majority of characters were wooden and uninspiring, Tsai Lin in particular lost every trait I enjoyed about him from the first book. Sherin with her stern face, disparaging look she gives in every scene she is in. The group of companions who just seemed to h Sadly this book was more like the third book of AR's first series rather than the first. Quite frankly I was bored, it was a slog to get through at times, which took much of the enjoyment away. Apart from Obvar's account which was superb, the majority of characters were wooden and uninspiring, Tsai Lin in particular lost every trait I enjoyed about him from the first book. Sherin with her stern face, disparaging look she gives in every scene she is in. The group of companions who just seemed to have no or limited purpose. Even Vaelin just became a repetitive chore to read about, as for the temple priest's there is nothing at all good to say after reading about the completely ridiculous and irrelevant fifth step that they are all supposed to of taken. It felt as if the Stahlhast were hardly covered, their so called battle prowess ignored as every battle was dictated by magic or a mindless horde. I am all for characters surviving difficult or outnumbered situations, but not impossible unrealistic ones time and again (As for the heroic overdone never injured always there at the right time horse...). Overall the battle scenes were poorly described, had little build up and finished with a whimper. I am beginning to feel that AR is not the best when it comes to describing battles with any degree of intricacy when it comes to tactics and interplay as one side always seems to be a mindless horde(Maybe I have been spoilt after reading Conn gulden's Genghis Khan series recently). This is one dense book but so much of it seemed unnecessary and uninteresting, Anthony Ryan is fantastic at building a story and setting the scene but in my mind has failed with the culmination yet again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pipim

    Fantastic book. This book is everything Queen of Fire should have been and I for one am very thankful for this dualogy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    The saga of Vaelin Al Sorna continues as he strives to fight against Kelbrand, the Dark Blade. Vaelin is the Thief of Names and is powerless to stop the Staahlhast horde as they ravage the Far Western lands of the Merchant Kings. However, Vaelin is able to get his old song back... but yet... this song is not necessarily the same 'blessing of heaven' as the Bloodsong. At the beginning of the Black Song, Vaelin finds himself in an utter mess... constantly retreating in the face of stronger forces. The saga of Vaelin Al Sorna continues as he strives to fight against Kelbrand, the Dark Blade. Vaelin is the Thief of Names and is powerless to stop the Staahlhast horde as they ravage the Far Western lands of the Merchant Kings. However, Vaelin is able to get his old song back... but yet... this song is not necessarily the same 'blessing of heaven' as the Bloodsong. At the beginning of the Black Song, Vaelin finds himself in an utter mess... constantly retreating in the face of stronger forces... he finally listens to his song which leads him to an adventure in the Pirate ridden Opal Islands. There he discovers the eternal fight between the Wolf and the Tiger and possibly something that can defeat Kelbrand. This is a nice finish to Raven's Blade duology. Vaelin is also able to help birth the new Jade Empire out of the death of the Jade Princess and the lines of the old kings. It seems the Jade Princess still had secrets to impart to the world. Ryan also takes an innovative tack and instead of using Luraelyn as his second POV character like he did in the Wolf's call, he utilizes Obvar's POV. Obvar is the key military champion to Kelbrand, and his character takes an interesting turn of events that i won't spoil. Obvar's accounts provide insight on the events from the 'enemy' POV and just how thoroughly Kelbrand had the Staahlhast brainwashed. Vaelin is one of my favorite strong men characters in fantasy. For those that want one of the best all time coming of age, fantasy super hero novels, Bloodsong is a classic of the genre. However, Ryan has struggled to make his post Bloodsong efforts equal to his original. Perhaps Vaelin is a 'one shot wonder' in the fantasy world... it is very difficult in fantasy to make a successful series without good worldbuilding, a strong cast of characters and multiple plotlines that keep the deep interest. This is perhaps what went wrong with Queen of Fire... Vaelin couldn't carry a third book in his other trilogy and the Queen just wasn't that interesting. Also, the fantasy world of Raven's Blade is not particularly unique... it is kind of mediocre. Ryan learned a few things in this trilogy and did not try to force material that just wasn't there. Ryan's Far West world is much more interesting that than the traditional Medieval European 'Unified Realm' type background used in the prior trilogy. In the Far West, we find a much different world with mysterious uncharted territories, pirates, mysterious ruins of the old Emerald Empire, and completely different countries which are nothing like the Unified Realm. Finally, Ryan's new Vaelin series is only two books long, thus not repeating his last mistake. He wraps it up and leaves an opening for the future tales of Vaelin.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    3.5 stars. It took a while before I was able to get into this book, but in the end I did enjoy the conclusion to the duology. Vaelin's magic has returned (finally), but now it's evil, which causes him to isolate himself even more from his friends and comrades. This gives the book a kind of depressing feel to it. Also, Sherrin is pretty obnoxious in this book, and I kind of wish a new love interest had been introduced.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Received an ARC while on lockdown which made Anthony Ryan even more of a hero to me than he already is. If you have an unassailable feeling of love and protectiveness for Vaelin al Sorna as I grew to have, this book will test those feelings and give you a better, more well-rounded experience of him. The author doesn’t disappoint in the way he created this new land and the characters are just as intriguing, which keeps us wanting more. There’s absolutely no way it ends here!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Atay Kozlovski

    this is perhaps more like 3.5 stars. while i enjoyed the book i felt that many of the characters were underdeveloped and that the solution to the situation was a bit too mystical... in general i cant really understand the dark and all that it does.. the whole battle of the tiger and wolf was a bit too out there for me.. all in all i think that i only read this series because of how much i enjoyed blood song. What i did like about the two new books is going back to the single perspective storylin this is perhaps more like 3.5 stars. while i enjoyed the book i felt that many of the characters were underdeveloped and that the solution to the situation was a bit too mystical... in general i cant really understand the dark and all that it does.. the whole battle of the tiger and wolf was a bit too out there for me.. all in all i think that i only read this series because of how much i enjoyed blood song. What i did like about the two new books is going back to the single perspective storyline.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Geektaard

    It was an absolute joy to be immersed into the life of Vaelin Al Sorna once again! I truly do hope more will come in the future

  21. 4 out of 5

    Wes Spence

    This seemed like a redemption book to me, not only for Vaelin, but for Anthony Ryan as well. I wasn't in the camp of those who vehemently hated "Tower Lord" and "The Burning Queen", in fact, I loved Tower lord, but it has been great with this duology to have a focus on Vaelin again. Especially since "Blood Song" is in my top 50 books. All Vaelin perspective (which people missed), but in my opinion not enough references to Blood song. His "crew" that he grew up with, fought, and some died for him This seemed like a redemption book to me, not only for Vaelin, but for Anthony Ryan as well. I wasn't in the camp of those who vehemently hated "Tower Lord" and "The Burning Queen", in fact, I loved Tower lord, but it has been great with this duology to have a focus on Vaelin again. Especially since "Blood Song" is in my top 50 books. All Vaelin perspective (which people missed), but in my opinion not enough references to Blood song. His "crew" that he grew up with, fought, and some died for him, were barely mentioned in this. The world building, just like this Draconis Memoria books, is awesome, with whole continents, cultures adapted and changing. A loosely adapted Mongol horde is somewhat stereotypical for fantasy, but he has added a cool spin with his magic system. As with a lot of these books that span over a decade, there were some character reveals that if someone read them all in a row would find exciting, but as these have been spaced out as they've been published, just didn't give me a thrill. Overall 4 stars for the twists and turns, and you gotta love a good vs evil showdown.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Will

    4.2 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... Beware Spoilers for the Wolf’s Call and minor spoilers for the Raven’s Shadow trilogy. The Stahlhast have laid waste to an entire continent en route to the Merchant Kingdoms of the far east. Kehlbrand, the true Darkblade, thinks himself a living god—though his divine power comes from his connection to a certain stone, one that is inured with the Dark. With this power he controls a vast army of fanatics and mercenaries, murders and rapists, along wi 4.2 / 5 ✪ https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com... Beware Spoilers for the Wolf’s Call and minor spoilers for the Raven’s Shadow trilogy. The Stahlhast have laid waste to an entire continent en route to the Merchant Kingdoms of the far east. Kehlbrand, the true Darkblade, thinks himself a living god—though his divine power comes from his connection to a certain stone, one that is inured with the Dark. With this power he controls a vast army of fanatics and mercenaries, murders and rapists, along with the righteous and those simply seeking glory. Together they’ve proved unstoppable, carving a trail of blood and ashes from sea to sea. And nothing can stop their conquest of the Merchant Kingdoms, and maybe even the entire world. Nothing, except maybe Vaelin Al Sorna. Known to the Darkblade as the “Thief of Names”, Vaelin has yet to prove much more of an annoyance than a gnat provides to a dinosaur. But with his allies on the run, his own army in disarray, and one of his truest friends dying; the tides are about to turn. For the Blood Song—the same song he lost so many years before—is again within reach. For with his last breath, Ahm Lin has offered up his own blood so that Vaelin can regain this precious gift. A gift he cannot face the Darkblade without. But when Vaelin drinks his blood, the song that comes is not his own. It is vile and tainted, a tune that demands death above all else: a Black Song. But while this gift might yet save the world from the Darkblade, it will surely doom Vaelin Al Sorna. My history with Vaelin is somewhat complicated. I loved my introduction to the Fifth Order back in 2013, and Blood Song is still one of my favorite books. Tower Lord, on the other hand, was… okay. Not a bad read, but not great, either. But when compared (and as a successor) to Blood Song—it was terrible. I honestly hated the turn the series had taken so much that I didn’t even bother to read Queen of Fire. Still haven’t, even. When Anthony Ryan chose to return Vaelin as the sole lead last year, I was cautiously optimistic. Optimism was quickly followed by relief and love. While I didn’t like the Wolf’s Call quite as much as Blood Song, it was a damn good read. The Black Song is to the Wolf’s Call that the Wolf’s Call was to Blood Song. That is—it’s a great read, but not quite as good. But not anywhere near the disaster that I found Tower Lord. The world-building itself is kinda lazy. It borrows very heavily upon earth itself. The Stahlhast and Steppe parallel the Mongols and THEIR Steppe. The Merchant Kingdoms (and Cantons) represent China, Japan, Korea and the like, down to their very names and historic attitudes. The Opal Islands are a continuation of South Asia to even Oceana, with their jungle and mythical beasts. The setting is similarly lame. It’s pretty much the Mongoliad in the world of the Raven. An unstoppable horde rolls over everything in its path, in its quest to conquer the world. The living god, the connection to the Dark, the later stages of the book—all these are new and interesting. I was more forgiving of this in the first book because of the Steppe. I’ve always been a sucker for Mongolian and Tibetan culture and civ. While I like China and Japan and such too, it’s harder to avoid the comparisons now, and how they’re pretty much just the same civs with different names. All of them. It’s the same great story, though. Vaelin is a little more stoic than he was at the beginning, but nowhere near as cold and aloof as we saw in Tower Lord. The Song itself is intriguing. Rather than an old friend come home, it’s a different tune—one that takes a different telling—something that demands chaos and blood, instead of the orderly one seen in the first trilogy. Where Al Sorna has changed, the Song has as well, and it lends a different… vibe to everything. Where the Wolf’s Call dipped into the iron will and horse culture of the Steppe, the Black Song is definitely a book about kings, emperors, and courtly politics. I mean, it’s not ALL politics or anything. If it was, I wouldn’t’ve read it. There’s action, violence, intrigue, adventure and more—but there’s also courtly etiquette and politics. My favorite part of the book is Part 3, where we explore the Opal Islands a bit. Due to spoilers, I obviously can’t go into much detail, but there’s jungle, myth and legend, the unknown, and adventure galore. The ending is truly innovative, but can also come off as odd. I mean, a lot of the stuff in Part 3 caught me by surprise, but not in a bad way. It even feels an adventure at times—which I loved, but that’s me. It reminded me of Uncharted (the game) where… actually, never mind, I can’t because spoilers. Sufficient to say it has a different vibe than the other two parts and leave it at that. TL;DR The conclusion to the Raven’s Blade duology, the Black Song introduces some new plot mechanics, characters and settings, while retaining the war, antagonist, and overall feel of the Wolf’s Call. With a great story and excellent protagonist in Vaelin Al Sorna, it’s a book I could read over and over happily enough for years to come. While a much better successor to the Wolf’s Call than Tower Lord was to Blood Song—the Black Song isn’t perfect by any means. The setting and world-building are honestly just lazy. As we explore what’s pretty much just Asia, there’s much to take in. Politics mingle with action and war; violence, bloodshed and courtly pandering alternating in a pleasant mix. Despite the near-constant change in setting, I never felt the pacing lag, nor did the story ever bore me. It was good, consistent, and Al Sorna-y. A must read for all Vaelin Al Sorna fans—if you liked Wolf’s Call, you shouldn’t have any trouble.

  23. 4 out of 5

    N3O

    I have not read this book yet; but I’ve been waiting for it for quite a while! I LOVE Anthony Ryan’s work! It’s what true Fantasy should be. I hope to get a copy soon! I’ve gotten so many of my friends hooked to his work; I rarely give an author that level of personal attention.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rusty Dalferes

    Another great read in the saga of Vaelin al Sorna. While I was a bit disappointed that this second series featuring that character was only 2 books instead of a full trilogy like the first series, it was a fun read in an interesting world, and I recommend it highly to fans of the fantasy genre. At the end of the first book in the Raven's Blade series, Vaelin was trying to escape from the Stallhast, his forces separated after sneaking out of a city under siege. At the beginning of the second book, Another great read in the saga of Vaelin al Sorna. While I was a bit disappointed that this second series featuring that character was only 2 books instead of a full trilogy like the first series, it was a fun read in an interesting world, and I recommend it highly to fans of the fantasy genre. At the end of the first book in the Raven's Blade series, Vaelin was trying to escape from the Stallhast, his forces separated after sneaking out of a city under siege. At the beginning of the second book, Vaelin is with Ahm Lin, the stone carver and fellow magical Singer, both of them injured and hunted, when Ahm Lin grants Vaelin a final boon, which may carry some bit of a curse with it. Meanwhile, the Stallhast continues to conquer the Merchant Realms of the Far West, having discovered a mysterious black stone that allows their leader to grant magical powers to his chosen, one of whom is reborn in magical possession the body of Sho Tsai, the general who assisted Vaelin in the war against the Stallhast. As Vaelin narrowly escapes capture, he and his companions find themselves in a mountain temple in which they have their own "36 Chambers of Shaolin" style progression of lessons and growth. Eventually befriending pirates, soldiers, criminals, and friends from across the waves, Vaelin seeks a way to end the threat of the Stallhast before it can sweep the entire world. As with the 4 previous books following Vaelin, this one was hard to put down, with compelling characters and a ton of action, both military and magical. In the original trilogy, there was a stark theme of redemption, in which initially conflicted or evil characters could find themselves on the right side of the fight, but in this sequel duology, the main theme seems to be the corruption of power, the insane hubris that comes with absolute control over other people. That theme is explored very well here, in Vaelin, in figures from the past who appear to him in visions, in current monarchs, and in the scary antagonist himself. The plot moved quickly and with satisfying milestones, and a few twists. I had a small number of issues with the plot, one of them being the old movie trope of main characters finding an ancient monument, only to have their characters' actions result in the total destruction of that monument -- this happens more than once in this book. But overall, despite my desire to see this story expanded into another full trilogy, it was a satisfying plot to read, and should impress most fantasy fans. As with the previous books, I did have some problems with the edit, including the overuse and misuse of commas, the maddeningly persistent use of "inclined the head" every time to mean "nod," an instance or two of using "try and" instead of "try to," and a few misspellings (e.g., "peel" vs. "peal"). So, I'd be inclined to give this 4.5 stars like with the rest of the books following Vaelin, but since that's not possible, and since these annoying editorial mistakes keep me from giving it a full 5 stars, I'll have to settle for a 4-star rating. In sum, I'd highly recommend this book, and the previous 4 following its main character, to any fans of swords-and-horses fantasy.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel

    This now concludes the end of Raven's Blade. It was a thrilling action-packed adventure that offered some of the most detailed schemes of war I have ever read. It certainly brings nothing new to the table, more of the same formula. That is not a bad thing though, as we get the chance to see just how terrible war is and how it changes everything. The book is filled with action (more than any other book of Ryan's). It takes the first and second stage, leaving little room for anything else. One of This now concludes the end of Raven's Blade. It was a thrilling action-packed adventure that offered some of the most detailed schemes of war I have ever read. It certainly brings nothing new to the table, more of the same formula. That is not a bad thing though, as we get the chance to see just how terrible war is and how it changes everything. The book is filled with action (more than any other book of Ryan's). It takes the first and second stage, leaving little room for anything else. One of the best parts in the other books were the interaction between characters, but here they are limited, diminished and outright annoying. The dialog is almost inexistent and devoid of meaning. So fixed on constant action this book is that it feels like it's lost its meaning. The characters are now just empty pawns following a concise script of doing this, then going there, do that. It was like a gathering with an old friend, where you have nothing to talk about. And all this, because the interpersonal relationships haven't got any attention from Ryan. So many emotions could've been brought to the reader if only the characters discussed (truly discussed) just a little bit more. I detested the relationship between Vaelin and Sherin. Once they were the most interesting characters and their connection was dear to my heart, but now I hated almost every line between them. I understood why they are acting like that, but it still was painful to read about. Though the above seems like I disliked this book, that wasn't my intention. The story is magnificently crafted, taking a larger scope. We don't follow every conquest and destruction that Khelbrand wrecks and this helps in painting the picture of his grandeur. But we are presented a story filled with intrigue, surprises and BATTLES! Did I say "battles"? Yes, many many battles. Big and small, important and devoid of meaning. But they all are well connected and masterfully crafted. This time we see how war changed many of our dear friends, but most of all, it changed Vaelin. He might be more dangerous to the world in the future than the antagonist. Aided by the new Black Song he is himself but not. His journey took an unforeseen twist and I loved every second of it. This ending is honestly one of the best ways to finish a series. It succeeded in giving me Goosebumps. It had everything I desired and more. I won't spoil anything, but it was the perfect way to pave the road for a few more books depicting the story of Vaelin.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This second book in the Raven's Blade series continues directly from the first book, Wolf's Call. If you liked the first book, you won't be disappointed here: the story and writing are as solid as ever. I love the Eastern aspects of it, even if it reads more like a kung-fu movie than honest history. I also love that when the good guys do well it's because they were smart, not because evil is dumb. The main plot is all More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ This second book in the Raven's Blade series continues directly from the first book, Wolf's Call. If you liked the first book, you won't be disappointed here: the story and writing are as solid as ever. I love the Eastern aspects of it, even if it reads more like a kung-fu movie than honest history. I also love that when the good guys do well it's because they were smart, not because evil is dumb. The main plot is all about the war against the Darkblade. While never boring, it's not the best aspect of the book - perhaps because I've read the whole style before in Draconis Memoria (a huge faceless horde that grows by gathering up your survivors? check. Since they are faceless zombies you can slaughter them by the thousands and not feel bad? check. You see the mind of the enemy general and he's actually on the good side? check). Still, since the premise of the war is more of a backdrop and a driver for the events. the story is palatable. As for characters, Al Sorna is delightful as ever - maybe bordering on too perfect, but personally I like it when the main character is actually just a good guy. The other characters (of which there are perhaps a bit too many to keep up with) all serve a decent purpose. All new characters get enough time to be fleshed out, up to the point where I'm slightly disappointed when they are pushed to the background. Most of the primary cast from the first book stays here, but the focus is rarely on them and they start to feel like supporting cast. There are quite a few surprises in the book, primarily being the ending. If you think you know how this book is going to end, you're most likely mistaken. In summary, while all of Anthony Ryan's books are good, this is one of the better ones. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    3.5 stars. I'm not sure if I like this one better or worse than the last. Glad he got "his" song back but it's not the same (both the song and the story). Nothing has come close to equaling the very first book Bloodsong. I would argue that this duology is better than Queen of Fire in someways and maybe Tower Lord too though I didn't mind that one so much. Half the reason these feel better is that they aren't such a huge let down coming off of Bloodsong. We've had time and 2 books to reset our ex 3.5 stars. I'm not sure if I like this one better or worse than the last. Glad he got "his" song back but it's not the same (both the song and the story). Nothing has come close to equaling the very first book Bloodsong. I would argue that this duology is better than Queen of Fire in someways and maybe Tower Lord too though I didn't mind that one so much. Half the reason these feel better is that they aren't such a huge let down coming off of Bloodsong. We've had time and 2 books to reset our expectations. Combine that with Queen of Fire suffering more for being the conclusion to a trilogy and endings are notoriously difficult to do well especially when you've built up so much gravitas and mystery and mythology and weight over the 2 previous books. spoilers for Queen of Fire: (view spoiler)[ Just as an example I thought the battle in the North was kind of anticlimactic. That people had his painting in a cave for hundreds of years and his coming representing this apocalyptic time of war/chaos (so much so that one old man apparently commits suicide just to avoid it?) and then it's 1 battle? A bad one sure, but as far as those people are concerned it's over, they had/have nothing to do with the rest of the war destroying Volar. I felt equally let down with the final solution to the Enemy. I can't even remember the exact explanation, but Erlis got "infected" purposely and then was forced to touch the stone iirc, and somehow Weaver was essential and becomes even more powerful because he takes Erlis' immortality etc. Just weird and felt contrived. (hide spoiler)]

  28. 5 out of 5

    Connor McCarty

    This was a challenging book… ...To put down. Opening joke in the review: nailed it. But for real, I read this very quickly and that has to do with a few non-book things. For one, I re-read the final chapter from The Wolf’s Call the night before I got this book and that got me so. Damn. Amped. So I was pretty keyed up for this. For two, I, like many others, was very let down by Queen of Fire as a trilogy-finisher so after the triumph that was The Wolf’s Call I felt like Ryan was really back in his e This was a challenging book… ...To put down. Opening joke in the review: nailed it. But for real, I read this very quickly and that has to do with a few non-book things. For one, I re-read the final chapter from The Wolf’s Call the night before I got this book and that got me so. Damn. Amped. So I was pretty keyed up for this. For two, I, like many others, was very let down by Queen of Fire as a trilogy-finisher so after the triumph that was The Wolf’s Call I felt like Ryan was really back in his element. I’ve told anyone that will listen (read: my cats and my wife) that The Wolf’s Call must be the sequel to Blood Song that he really wanted to write but maybe publisher pressures got in the way of that and he was told “you have to do lots of POVs like Game of Thrones does” so we got books 2 and 3. As this and the last book proves, that’s just not so. Also full disclosure: I really enjoyed Tower Lord it was just QoF that I didn’t like. And what about this book? Well, it was great. It wasn’t perfect and I actually think the prior entry was slightly superior in the storytelling but this was still great and some of the world building done here is really top tier stuff for fantasy fans. Some will call the ending anticlimactic but considering the 2 books as a whole I think it’s perfect the way it wraps up. Like how the final showdown between Maul and Kenobi goes in Rebels. It should really happen no other way. TL;DR If you liked The Wolf’s Call, I think you’ll like this too.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Walter Qian

    Every fan was nervous walking into this because Ryan's previous trilogy ended disappointingly withe Queen of Fire. Happy to see this series end on a strong note with Vaelin. Each of the 4 parts starts with Obvar's perspective. Although a surprise it was a good one as once again the view point of the enemy provides much insight. There's a lot of worldbuilding in the first part of the book but when Vaelin leaves the Temple of Spears the book's space increases dramatically. It's battle after battle Every fan was nervous walking into this because Ryan's previous trilogy ended disappointingly withe Queen of Fire. Happy to see this series end on a strong note with Vaelin. Each of the 4 parts starts with Obvar's perspective. Although a surprise it was a good one as once again the view point of the enemy provides much insight. There's a lot of worldbuilding in the first part of the book but when Vaelin leaves the Temple of Spears the book's space increases dramatically. It's battle after battle and there's no time for leisure. It culminated in a poor final battle which was over quickly. My main criticism is the secondary characters especially Darkblade. We see Vaelin grow as a character and deal with his inner struggles, but Darkblade was an unknown/generic villian that did not have much up. I also thought the pacing was a bit too fast. Overall enjoyed the series. Good mini-series with a new setting and some new characters. I enjoyed that in the process of winning this war, Vaelin realized he might have set up future conflicts with the kings he raised to power. I'm excited to read the next chapter of Vaelin's story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    norcalgal

    That's it?! The epic Final Battle between Kehlbrand Reyerik and Vaelin Al Sorna, was less than epic. (view spoiler)[ In fact, Kehlbrand went out like a wuss, rather than a "god". (hide spoiler)] I'm also not a fan of Anthony Ryan's style of propelling the story by describing what's happening, rather than through dialogue between his characters. But, I must admit AR's genius lays in his naming of place names and people. We know this is a fictional world, but the names are so well chosen, that the That's it?! The epic Final Battle between Kehlbrand Reyerik and Vaelin Al Sorna, was less than epic. (view spoiler)[ In fact, Kehlbrand went out like a wuss, rather than a "god". (hide spoiler)] I'm also not a fan of Anthony Ryan's style of propelling the story by describing what's happening, rather than through dialogue between his characters. But, I must admit AR's genius lays in his naming of place names and people. We know this is a fictional world, but the names are so well chosen, that they ring of authenticity. My final critique is this: in the duology, reading the new and different "Gifts" started to seem like AR took a turn into the world of the X-Men. Now here's a Gifted who can summon the wind. And look over there, that one can summon fire. And this one, well...And so on and so on. Boy, that black stone that conferred these powers sure is a special McGuffin! I don't know if "The Black Song" marked the final adventure of Vaelin and Company, but if so, I suppose this was a fairly decent way to end this series. And lastly, Derka FTW!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.